Live a little Greener

Since late 2019, we've been working towards becoming a sustainable business. To help us on our journey, we’ve partnered with ecollective, a sustainable consultancy  who are committed to improving the positive impact businesses can have on the planet. By working with them, promoting our sustainable villas and tree-planting initiative, we want to lead the way in driving positive, sustainable changes in the travel industry.

Our Mission

“We believe in doing more and finding extraordinary, which is why we are committed to becoming the most environmentally progressive villa company in the world. By making responsible decisions and taking urgent action, our goal at Oliver’s Travels is to become net zero and be a force for positive change in the travel industry, as well as our wider communities.”

Our Sustainability Goals

  • To become a net zero organisation
  • To reduce the CO2 output per villa by 10% YoY
  • To encourage customers to make more sustainable choices and make it easy for them to do so

Why did we embark on this journey?

It’s no secret that the travel industry has a significant impact on the environment, from the amount of CO2 being released by airplanes to the effects of overtourism. But you don't need to cut out travel altogether - from funding local economies to enriching minds, travel has so many benefits too.

Instead, we should all be aiming to travel more sustainably, whether that’s offsetting our flight emissions, travelling by train or visiting lesser-known regions. These small, simple changes can allow us to #LiveALittleGreener - while still having fantastic holidays.

Read more Read Less

Our partnership with ecollective

To help us measure our business' carbon footprint, we partnered with ecollective. Not content with just basing our emissions on assumptions, we undertook an audit of our properties, looking at all the different factors that can impact greenhouse gas emissions.

This included air conditioning, electricity usage, pool heating, food composting and so much more. For those properties that are yet to get back to us, ecollective used their industry data and government guidelines to give us a worst-case scenario score.
Of course, we had to draw the line somewhere, so some factors such as transport our customers choose to and from the properties were excluded. Even so, we were able to calculate a total amount of CO2 produced each year by our business.
However, this was just the start of an ongoing partnership, as we now work with ecollective to reduce our carbon footprint and improve the data techniques used. We're already a carbon neutral business, but our aim is to be a zero carbon-producing business in the future. Until we do that, we offset all the carbon produced by our business.

Through making these changes, we hope to not only help the climate but also better your holiday experience at one of our beautiful villas.

Villa Nebbiosa in Umbria is carbon neutral.


What changes have we already made?

We understand the massive impact the travel industry has on the environment, and we want to do something about it – to be a force for positive change in an industry where it doesn’t always seem possible.

That's why, in our London office, we now use a renewable energy provider, ensure that no waste goes to landfill, and are in the process of banning single-use plastics and coffee cups. We also have a cycle to work scheme.

Villas vs Hotels – which is best?

A typical hotel night contributes 25kg of CO2 per room per night, while villas produce around 17kg per night. So, just by choosing one of our villas over a hotel you’re already making the choice to #LiveALittleGreener. 

A lot of villas also support local communities, whether they’re locally owned and directly put money back into the economy, preserve the local heritage, or promote visiting nearby shops and restaurants.

Villas that are in rural and lesser-known destinations in particular combat the issue of overtourism, while also providing you with a more authentic and pleasant experience. So, if you and your group are looking to make unforgettable memories together in unique places, while still travelling sustainably, staying in a villa is a no-brainer.

Our climate emergency plan

There’s no doubt about it – we’re in a climate crisis, and we need to take a stand. The IPCC has stated that we need to reduce carbon emissions by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, and the Arctic Council has said that the Arctic could be completely ice-free by 2040 if the current global heat trends continue.

How we're taking action

Measure: With the help of sustainable consultancy ecollective, we created a sustainability questionnaire to calculate the estimated carbon emissions for all our properties around the world. This involved applying data from several sources, including DEFRA, IEA & EEA.

After collecting this data, we developed a five-point criteria for properties to be added to our Sustainable Villa Collection. They had to meet at least four of the checklist points, and have a daily carbon footprint score of 5kg or lower, based on full occupancy per bedroom. Successful properties would then benefit from further promotion and visibility.

We hope that this collection acts as an incentive for property owners to reduce their emissions YoY and make more sustainable choices, while encouraging those that have not yet provided data to do so.

Reduce: Our aim is to work to reduce the CO2 output per villa and across the whole business by 10% YoY. We aim to do this through education, recommendations, and affiliate partnerships with companies such as renewable energy providers.

We also promote train travel as a more sustainable way of travelling to some of our destinations, aiming to reduce the emissions that we don’t have direct control over. As time goes on, we’d like to look at other rewilding conservation projects and revenue donation schemes.

Commitments: We will be surveying villa owners twice per year on their carbon emissions to accurately measure any changes, including this data as part of our listing process when we add new properties to our portfolio. We’re dedicated to keeping the climate crisis at the forefront of everyone’s minds with regular email communications, as well as educational content on a newly-developed ‘owners hub’ plus our blog/website/social content for customers.

In terms of our portfolio, we will be adding more product within the UK and France to help us encourage greener modes of transport. All of these commitments will help us on our goal to becoming a zero carbon-producing business.

In office: Our office block already used a renewable energy provider, zero landfill waste company, and cycle to work scheme. However, we've now introduced office green ground rules and remote working options while continuously brainstorming new ideas.

By no means do we profess to be experts in the world of sustainable travel, but we look forward to learning more from our peers who have also signed up to Tourism Declares, sharing knowledge, helping to fight this climate crisis together, and encouraging others to do the same.



From the blog...